about possibly coming back to this space. it's been awhile. and while i am sure there are only crickets here, at this point, we've got some good stuff going on. too good not to share. 
we have a new home, and by now we've unpacked most of what brought over to this new place. winter throughout california has been incredibly warm, giving us lots of opportunity to enjoy all of the new space. the kids are having a blast. we're kind of forgetting to homeschool. i tell myself that lots of good learning is happening out there. there's always time for learning at the kitchen table, right?
lucy is in kindergarten. we're homeschooling through a charter instead of sending her to the school down the road. most of the time i think this is a good decision, though sometimes i wonder what the heck i have gotten myself into. she's able to read a good bit, is working on her numbers and the rest of the items on the kindergarten agenda, most of which strike me as natural things that come up during the course of everyday life. for homeschooling, kindergarten seems a good place to start. it's very forgiving. and so is she. 
hudson is hudson. he's recently turned four and seems to run on nothing but fruit and air. hudson is the one of all three children that i might not see for nearly the entire day, if it weren't for the fact that each activity he sets his  mind on requires a complete wardrobe change. thus, i see him as he darts from the bedroom to the yard, grabbing fruit (of course) for his journey. hudson is lucy's most-of-the-time cohort and is therefore also being sort of homeschooled. hudson is an interesting student. 
tucker. oh my, tucker is not only one year old now, but one and a half. a walking, talking, potty training, follow-in-my-siblings-footsteps kind of guy. he says things like "good morning, honey," "o.k, mama," and "alright, guys." tucker is mama's delight, as all last babies are. tucker is the kind of last baby who makes mama want to have another baby, and soon. because of self-imposed laws regarding proximity to mama, tucker is also being sort of homechooled. the kid can count and knows some letter sounds. kindergarten should be a breeze when it comes time for round three. 
jeremy and i are the same except he no longer looks like a girl. i shouldn't kid, he donated that lovely mop to locks of love and it's very sweet, especially considering i cut my hair before lucy was born, intending to donate it and then never went through with the plan. i still have that hair in a bag, somewhere.  
we took over 200 photos for our christmas card this year. in nearly every one of them, someone is pulling a sad face (see above) despite the fact that there were jelly beans involved. i should probably admit it was 30 degrees out while shooting that morning, but still. jellybeans!

i like this photo anyway. it embodies so much of the good that is here in our new home--sunrise coming over the hill, frost on the ground, tons of space for the kids and animals to run around and do their thing. it's our new chapter and we're happy to be living it. 

till next time!
as an adult i have pretty much lost my ability to swing without feeling sick, but these kids just can't get enough. the higher the better--they rate parks on how high the swings fly and how dangerous the slides are--little daredevils! happy weekend!
well i suppose i dropped the ball on posting tucker's 10 month photo in a timely manner. the good news is he's pretty forgiving. eleven months and this photo project is drawing to an end. it's for the best--keeping this crawler in the chair today to snap a few photos was nearly impossible. he's climbing up and down anything in his path, and our lovely blue chair was no exception. 

hard to believe that in less than a month this little guy will have a birthday. even harder to believe that last year he was still a (big) bump in the belly. now he's babbling and signing and eating steak and potatoes. really. 

will he be walking? only time will tell, but i'd be very surprised if he takes his first steps before the big day. of course, lucy and hudson both did, so if he's anything like big brother and sister, i'm in trouble... 
biking in to the playground at point pinole park. happy weekend!
these days are busy. not so much rush-rush-rush, though of course getting three kids out the door theres always a fair bit of that. these days are just... full. 
we're making the most of this spring. farmer's market thursdays, followed by a trip to the pool, and then a trip to the creek that runs behind the pool, are a favorite. it's funny, little places you never know exist, until you find them. this place is a hidden gem--shallow water, shade trees. little waterfalls and pathways. 
our garden will be small this year. with everything going on with our house renovations and moving, i'm okay with that. we've got strawberries, we've got tomatoes. we've got tiny garden beds and new, good dirt. we've got lavender and basil and tons of mint growing near the house. now i just have to remember to keep watering. 
lucy turned five last week. five. if anyone that still reads here remembers the start of this blog, you're probably just as shocked as i. after all, it was her little cloth diapered bottom that appeared first, so many posts ago. 

her birthday was a wonderful celebration full of good friends new and old, plus lots of loving family. that girl is loved. the kids were entertained with messy art projects--think spraybottles  full of watercolor on old sheets, mix-your-own paint, baking soda and vinegar. the mess was large and totally worth it. 
all the little guests in attendance got to take home a handmade ribbon wand. fabric scraps and sticks, so very easy. so easy i kept putting it off, and ended up doing them at ten o'clock the night before. jeremy helped. it's not often we craft together. the things daddies do for their daughters. 

perhaps one of the best gifts given to lucy was also a gift to me--the completion of the sandbox at our new property. a converted pickup bed, a load of sand, a smattering of sand toys. i have happy kids these days. 
party-goers also got a handmade smock to take home. i might have been crazy to make these, but truth be told it was fun to be sewing again. i had five on hand from earlier days, and only had to make ten more. the thrift store linen section was an excellent resource for cute, cheap fabric. my only regret is not snapping a picture when all of the smocks were hung up together. the clothesline was full, and they were adorable. 
somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 feet of scrap fabric bunting. a simple, though somewhat monotonous project. i'll add to it over the years. expect it at every celebration to come. ;)
did i mention that lucy is five?
my baby is in that nearing his first birthday. soon he'll be edging out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. i'm clinging to the scraps over here. crawling, teething, slobbery kisses, baby toes--i'm not ready to say goodbye to you yet. 
the older two keep themselves pretty busy. it's creativity working at high speed, nearly 100 percent of the time. this is often a messy process. just yesterday they got busy painting both glass doors leading out to the backyard, with blue paint, as high as they could reach. part of me was going crazy because of the mess. the other part protested that they were foot-deep (literally) in creativity, and to let them be. 

it worked for a little while. 
if you follow me on instagram, you already know that hudson is pedal-biking. we got him a teeny tiny bike (to fit his teeny tiny self), from a wonderful bike thrift store in san rafael. he popped right on it and took off. my only concern now is figuring out how to keep this 3.5 year old somewhat in sight. we actively seek parks that have circular paths!
this kid is incredible. 
so is this one. 
this one, too. 

thanks for checking in. 
a little bigger, a little cuter. this guy (finally!) has two teeth on the bottom with another one sneaking in on top. he's thick & chunky and is only a couple pounds shy of his older brother. tucker is now an expert in crawling and has started to cruise. tonight i caught him standing in the tub with no hands, hands-free. you know what that means... 
four dozen eggs dyed between four kiddos today. and a 16 egg frittata nearly put away by those same kiddos, plus two mamas and a couple of babies. wow. that's a whole lot of eggs for one day, don't you think? thank goodness theres about 45 chickens between the two families--we've got eggs to spare. i'll confess that some of mine were store-bought, however. i'm a firm believer that the pure white eggs take on the hues a bit better than the rest, and our chickens are mostly brown and green layers. 

as far as the coloring goes, this was another year of trying the natural dyes with mixed results. red beets and purple cabbage = okay. turmeric = very good. orange tea, green tea, carrot tops, spinach, and paprika all get a big thumbs down. a cup of water and blue food coloring got thrown into the mix and it was the best by far, though obviously not very natural. of course, we're coloring with kids who don't have all that much patience to wait and wait and wait and wait some more. we need instant results, people. 
when using straight-from-the-coop eggs for coloring, it's important to wash off the protective "bloom" that coats the eggs. otherwise the dye has trouble sticking. lesson learned for next year. 
in other things egg-related, my chickens are hiding their eggs in the yard and my dog is finding them. OR, my chickens are laying their eggs in the chicken coop and my dog is stealing them and attempting to bury them. i haven't quite decided. all i know is that after some 5 or 6 years of having chickens around, my dog has suddenly developed a keen interest in all these eggs laying about. we'll find her wagging her tail at the back door with an egg cradled gently in her mouth. if it weren't quite so naughty, it'd be very cute. okay, it is very cute. and naughty, too. 

happy egg days!
our new kitchen may not be much to look at yet, but i think the ceiling-in-progress is beautiful. a lot of hard work has been happening and i am so grateful to think that soon we'll be living in this pretty room! lots to look forward to. of course, lots to be enjoying now, as well. 
another monday means hudson and i spent most of the day together while lucy was at her drop-off nature class. we hike around the marin watershed. it's so lovely there, with lots of little paths and places to wander. hudson talks my ear off while tucker sleeps. he is big into what-if type questioning. "mommy! what if this pipe went all the way to our house? mommy! what if i dug a hole up to my head? mommy! what if this backhoe turned on while i was playing next to it? and what if i took all the rocks and thew them in the lake? mommy! what if i was always wearing my shirt like this, even if it rained?" 

oh my goodness. the boy can talk. after awhile we headed back into town to do the grocery shopping. he likes to push the cart but today i didn't feel like watching little old ladies get run down and i got him to ride. and when i lifted him out of the baby seat to get into the car, he put his sweaty arms around my head and put his forehead against mine and said "you are the best taker-care of, mama." which is three-year-old speak for "i love you," plain and simple. 
a belated post, no doubt about it. the little guy is crawling like crazy and we're all busy keeping up after him. sick at the moment, but (mostly) all smiles otherwise. he's got teeth finally coming in, on top of fighting a cold. having recently been knocked down by a virus myself, i feel for him. 
he looks a little strawberry here, no? as with lucy, i think it will fade. but cute while it lasts... 
i picked up this vintage rocking horse over a year ago at a little flea market shop in berkeley. at the time i thought i paid too much ($20) but tucker has gotten a good bit of use out of it. he's the first of my babies that doesn't mind spending a bit of time entertaining himself. of course it's never long before someone is bringing him toys and books and food. such is the life of a third babe. we love him!
truth be told, these two get along pretty darn good. which is not to say they don't have their moments of kicking and hitting and name calling, but for the most part they keep it pretty sweet. more often than not they are helping each other out, having charming little conversations, and figuring out ways to share their things. 

we happened upon these mailboxes today and thought they were pretty cute, especially that chippy yellow one. i remember for awhile when hudson was small, we kept his shoes in a mailbox on top of his dresser. eventually his shoes got too big to fit well and the mailbox got moved to the playroom instead. seeing these all lined up in a row gives me ideas for the new house. not sure exactly what but we do have a few mailboxes laying around. we'll see. 

it's hard to see in the above photos, but hudson insisted on wearing his snow boots out for a hike today in the warm california sunshine. i'm absolutely sure his feet were terribly sweaty, but he didn't complain. a good thing. 

i've been having so much fun with my pack of kiddos lately. it makes me happy. even happier than a yellow mailbox.